Agric Minister Looks To Fintech To Bypass Handout Fraud


The federal government intends to implement financial technology (fintech) solutions for all financial disbursements, directly targeting end users to prevent corruption, according to Abubakar Kyari, the minister of agriculture and food security, who announced this during a press briefing in Abuja. As part of the ministry's medium-term plan, a priority will be given to digital and decentralized finance (DEFI) solutions for reforming institutions like the Bank of Agriculture and Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation. This move comes in response to allegations of corruption in the distribution of aid and intervention programs, especially at the grassroots level among farmers.

The minister outlined his administration's mandates, including food security, economic growth, job creation, poverty eradication, and fostering an enabling environment for individuals and the private sector. He emphasized the alignment of all ministry programs with these priorities and the need to ensure increased food production, accessibility, affordability, and nutritional value year-round.

Regarding immediate priorities, preparations are underway for the next dry season farming starting in November 2023. This includes certifying planting materials for certain food crops and aiming to produce 875,000 metric tonnes of wheat during the dry season. Additionally, there are plans to reform the National Agricultural Research System and establish national gene bank facilities for crops and animals to conserve genetic resources.

In the medium term (2024-2026), the ministry aims to develop a digital/ICT mobile-based agro-industry system and e-extension platform to support farmers across Nigeria's agro-ecological zones. In the long term, a national agricultural database is planned to enhance the planning and implementation of agriculture and food security programs and initiatives.

Minister Aliyu Abdullahi, in his remarks, affirmed the administration's commitment to achieving food security and attracting investment in the agriculture sector under the leadership of Tinubu.

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